Farr reveals that in Dickinson's poems and letters, Susan (with whom Emily corresponded for forty years) is assigned characteristics of Shakespeare's Cleopatra and that the poet frequently presents her in the company of cardinal flowers and the "Crown Imperial." "Emily reports herself deeply moved when Susan, her chief or cardinal friend, sends her a cardinal flower," Farr writes.
Flowers that fill such dual roles include marsh marigold, true forget-me-nots, cardinal flowers, great lobelia, yellow coneflower, bee balm, swamp milkweed, Joe-Pye-weed, lance-leaved goldenrod and New England aster.
It's not far from PEEC to the Delaware River, and the center's naturalist, Pat Scheuer, took us on a three-hour Kittatinny Canoes float from Milford to Dingmans Ferry, during which we encountered blue herons, cormorants, kingfishers and merganser ducks, not to mention bright red cardinal flowers. Even in light drizzle it was a magical time and the kids didn't complain about the soggy sandwiches.